6 tips to achieve a balanced online/offline strategy

At present, the key to success in most tourism companies resides in the flexibility of their thinking. We are making a great mistake if we think that our customer is static, comfortable with certain environments and waiting to receive a life-changing deal. The current challenge in an oversupplied market comes from differentiation and being able to show our products where our customers are. In hospitality, there are generally two different kinds of providers that can help with this task:

  1. Specialized marketing agencies – Focused in on the sector but covering one or two services (web, online marketing or public relations). They understand the language of a hotelier but they miss the opportunity of creating synergies across multiple environments.
  2. Generalist marketing agencies – Spanning multiple areas and can develop synergies, also win advertising awards, but hardly achieve depth of understanding of the needs of an hotelier, market behavior, business channels, rates or occupancy, and therefore fail to bring the best return on investment for their clients.

Can we afford to lose competitiveness by focusing on just one area? In which cases our investment can be more profitable if it’s diversified? How much time can we dedicate ourselves to integrate isolated marketing efforts or redirect senseless initiatives?

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Finding the perfect balance between traditional and digital marketing can be a hard job. The key resides in a good understanding of the business and an adequate sensitivity when balancing online and offline strategies, analyzing which are the most suitable to reach our customers with our offer.

Despite the fact that digital environments are a more consolidated reality every time for certain market niches; there is more than enough data to support this theory. According to a research done by We Are Social in January this year, 54% of the world population is connected: more than half of the population has internet access, representing 3.5 million active users. John Wanamaker (1838-1922), considered as the “father” of modern advertising brought up the legendary phrase: “I know we are wasting half of our budget on marketing. The problem is that I do not know yet which half”.

Determining whether our customer is online or offline, would be an operative circumstance that our marketing department has to figure out Klaas Flechsig, spokesperson for Google, comments: “Digital topics should be a natural part of the company’s overall strategy. Digitalization is imminent and critical, but this does not mean that the analog area is not playing any important role in any company’s marketing strategy”. According to their business characteristics, big corporations like the Priceline Group or Trivago have a moderated budget for social media in relationship to their entire online budget and on the other hand investing a large amount in TV ads. It is quite representative to see how the top ones of the tourism sector are looking to increase their share on visibility, in what we commonly know now as “traditional media” with the aim of minimizing their dependence on Google and other digital channels, increasing their brand positioning and market share with multiple customer segments, while for other companies with a significant local market share may be more convenient to use traditional, print media, outdoor or direct mail.

 

The distance between the digital and the analog “world” is narrower. Technologies like augmented reality or mixed reality, try to integrate and make both environments compatible. It is a whole challenge for tourism companies, willing to make their value stand out in order to compete and communicate through the most positive ROI channels.

The tourism business sets off from the advantage of the P2P contact with the customer, from the commercialization stage to the stage of enjoying the touristic activity and even in the post-travel stage, where the customer’s feedback on his/her experience is received.

The importance of the Marketing Plan is therefore the highest priority, knowing how to construct an integrated strategy that drives business visibility. The company’s role in this case is to position the product, regardless of the environment where their buyer is, and in order to achieve this balance it is important to take the following considerations:figuras-blog2

  1. Define our buyer profile. It is important to define a fictitious entity with the information given by the company, based on its potential customers. Deep understanding of our market is essential to determine the environment where they usually move and then redirect the efforts better.
  2. Validate market niches. When adjusting the budget, it is better to be cautious and balance all the Both in mature markets and new segments we want to address that it is important to make continuous testing of conduct to identify the proper formula.
  3. Message alignment. When we are developing a global strategy, it becomes essential to adapt the same message across all media, transmitting communication in an unified and powerful way.
  4. Constant innovation. One of the determining factors regarding competitiveness resides on being capable of getting advantages based on continuous innovation. Always having open lines of improvement allows us to open new markets and new ways of communication; it is essential to avoid being predictable to our competitors.
  5. Integral strategy. If our business bets for an Inbound Marketing Strategy, it is important to integrate both online and offline actions. It is important to set clear goals and milestones to support the global strategy.
  6. Interpretation of data. We should not just focus on generating data, but we should also interpret it in order to apply it. Having adequate dashboards with structured information will help us to make decisions, no matter the field environment.

 

It is important to define a working methodology, flexible and customer-centric. This will allow us, at the same time, to adapt better in any possible scenario.

Information per se loses strength by leaps and bounds; the key resides on having the ability to implement it. The user observes and the key is in being able to be at the right place to offer it. The symbiosis established between the product/service quality and the ability to transmit it, is essential to get good results.

Information per se loses strength by leaps and bounds; the key resides on having the ability to implement it. The user observes and the key is in being able to be on at the right place to offer it. The symbiosis established between the product/service quality and the ability of to transmit it, is essential to get good results.

In Marketing Zentral we are committed to achieve a balanced integration of all the marketing components of a hotel or tourist business. Starting with a thorough understanding of the needs of our customers, knowledge of trends and opportunities backed up by a team of professionals with more than 15 years of experience in the industry.

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